Conor McCann, Copywriter

Today’s media landscape is a chaotic stream of attention-seeking tidbits, seemingly flying through your phone, TV, computer and just about any sightline at warp speed. So, naturally, for advertisers and marketers, standing out is necessary. But standing out for the right reasons is critical.

Want to create standout content for the right reasons? Let’s Talk. 

We see examples of controversial creative advertising annually, monthly and sometimes daily. Occasionally the controversy is calculated – capitalizing on the moment to turn eyeballs into earned brand equity. Other times it’s misguided, or not intentional at all. 

Let’s explore several risqué ads – funny ads, powerful ads, and some ads not as funny or powerful as they were trying to be – that popped out at us, examine why they caught our attention and determine if they were ultimately successful branding opportunities from a metrics or a feel-good standpoint. 

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Rebecca Courtney, Corporate Communications Director

Rebranding is a powerful marketing tool, whether you’re trying to connect with your audience in fresh ways, looking to shake loose from an outdated perception or expanding to a new demographic. But if done incorrectly, it can do much more harm than good. 

From Elon Musk’s controversial renaming of Twitter to “X”, to Weight Watchers (now WW) repositioning themselves as a wellness company, to something as simple as Gap’s logo change, there’s no shortage of cautionary tales. 

Most recently, online dating app Bumble’s rebrand has set off a wildfire of criticism, even going as far as eliciting an apology from the brand. 

Why is this rebrand dubbed the “Bumble Fumble” and what went wrong? 

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Esther Fabian, Account Director

This Mother's Day, let's celebrate the real, imperfect journey of motherhood. The pressure to fit the mold of the "perfect” mom is suffocating. But here's the truth: good enough is good enough. 

The "good-enough" mother is flawed, real and relatable, and shatters the facade of perfection, allowing working moms to bring their whole selves to work, interruptions and all. 

So what can advertisers do in this new era to embrace the imperfect? 

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Jeff Lutz – VP, Corporate Communications & Content

Caitlin Clark, the electrifying point guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes, has become the biggest name in college basketball – men’s and women’s – captivating audiences with her unparalleled skillset and must-see performances on the court.

But what makes Clark special today isn’t just her talent; it’s the impact she’s had on basketball and women’s athletics. 

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Randy Phipps, Executive Creative Director

The Super Bowl – a cultural phenomenon and unofficial national holiday when families and friends gather around screens eagerly awaiting not just the clash on the field, but the unveiling of the most anticipated commercials of the year. But when did Super Bowl commercials become as important, if not more so, as the game itself? I would point to one campaign: the Bud Bowl. 

What can today's marketers learn from the Bud Bowl?

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Rebecca Courtney, Corporate Communications Director

As the anticipation builds for the big game, the marketing and advertising industry is gearing up for what has become a spectacle in its own right—the commercials. From brand newcomers to nostalgic throwbacks to the influence of the NFL’s newest “MVP” Taylor Swift, this year promises to be no different.

Check out our observations and insights ahead of advertising's big night.

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With the first month of 2023 behind us and trends for the year starting to emerge, we’re excited to be kicking off a new expert spotlight series at Hart. We will be regularly featuring an expert from each of our service areas – strategy, creative, media, digital, public relations and brand leadership – to discuss what they are observing and most excited about in their field this year.
Kira Clifton, Hart’s VP of Media & Analytics, discusses three things she’s paying attention to in the media world.

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Kira Clifton - VP, Media Strategy & Analytics

Performance Marketing: Rethinking your approach to driving sales

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Brittany Fulton, Human Resources Leader

Company culture and values outweigh office space for job seekers in 2021.

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